The celebrated Finnish indie game Crayon Physics Deluxe was recently released and we decided to ask the creator Kloonigames (Petri Purho) a few questions about his game, about the future, and well, all things crayon.
Kloonigames is a relatively unknown name to many. What sets you apart from other software houses?
The biggest difference is probably that Kloonigames only has one full-time employee. It's not as much a software house as it is a software student shack.
How long have you been making games and what got you into it?
I got the spark when I played Super Mario Bros. as a kid. After that I wanted to make my own games. I started Kloonigames in August 2006, and back then my intention was to release a new game every month. I still have that same intention, but Crayon Physics Deluxe seems to take all of my spare time, so I don't know when I'll be able to continue creating prototype games.
Crayon Physics Deluxe got a good amount of hype even in its prototype form. Why do you think the game is so popular?
There's something truly magical in the game, something that a lot of people seem to connect with.
What was the most challenging part of making Crayon Physics Deluxe? How about the most rewarding?
Finishing the game. It was both the most challenging and the most rewarding thing about the whole project.
Winning the Independent Games Festival Grand Prize was a great accomplishment. What did it mean for Kloonigames and Crayon Physics Deluxe?
Winning at IGF had a huge personal impact. At that point I decided to promote myself and started working as a full-time employee at Kloonigames. My main reason for entering IGF was that I hoped I would get to the finals so I could get a free ticket to Game Developers Conference to meet some of my friends. I didn't think I even stood a chance of winning, seeing that I was going against masterpieces like World of Goo, Audiosuft or Noitu Love 2. Personally, I would've liked to see World of Goo take the Grand Prize.
Did the IGF win create extra pressure for the finished game?
Not really, because I was convinced that the jury had counted the points up wrong. World of Goo should've been the real winner.
Crayon Physics Deluxe is also available on the iPhone. How did an independent pc game end up on Apple's multimedia phone?
Hudson Soft contacted me and asked whether they could port it over to the iPhone. I said yes, and they did the port. I only had to send them the source code.
Have other publishers contacted you regarding the pc version? Have there been discussions about publishing the game for example on online services like Steam?
Surprisingly many publishers contacted me. I was actually baffled by the amount of interest. My intention was always to make an indie game, so many publishers backed down once they heard my terms. As for Steam, I can't say for sure at the moment. We're talking about it, and hopefully it will happen. I'd love to see the game in as many places and services as possible.
Will there be a console version of Crayon Physics Deluxe? You'd imagine the Wii and the DS would be perfect for doodling.
Hopefully. I'm not quite convinced about the drawing capabilities of the Wii, but the DS would be an excellent platform. Then again, it would require working with a publisher.
Along with Kloonigames, there have been a couple hit games recently from small studios, namely Braid and World of Goo. Do you think indie games get more respect than huge blockbuster games?
It's hard to say. Now that I've gotten my own game finished, I've gained a huge amount of respect towards anyone who's ever done a game.
How do you see the future of one- or two-man studios in today's commercialized games market?
Surprisingly good. One or two guys can make games that don't have to sell millions of copies to make a profit.
Where do you see Kloonigames and yourself in the future? What's the next big challenge?
Kloonigames will obviously become the next Activision. There will be a new Crayon Physics game every year. The biggest challenge is to come up with the 200-euro plastic controller that you need to buy to play the game.
Thank you for the interview!